I Have A Hempy Dream!


This morning after taking my daughter to school (when I am driving is when I have my best ideas and do my best thinking) I had a thought. It wasn’t a new thought, but it had new energy.

I’ve always wanted to be involved with Habitat for Humanity. But my idea, my dream has a new twist. HEMP Habitats for Humanity. Solar hemp homes! I want to help put families in their own homes, homes that are carbon negative, environmentally healthy, and energy efficient. I want to get dirty, drive some nails, use my hands to help create a healthy environment for those that need a roof over their heads.

I, also, dream to have one of those homes. Solar. Hemp. Energy efficient. Clean. Healthy. Bright. A place that I know will not tax our planet, but HELP it.

I want to start by building one in each state. Can you imagine the impact just from one carbon negative home? I want this to go viral. I can envision communities like this, pockets of clean, green areas that heal, not harm.

I want this to be a movement, a wave. Wait, let me backtrack. WANT means lack. It WILL happen, and it will happen in my lifetime.

How will this happen? I do not know. But I do know I am not alone in this dream. I have put this dream out to the Universe, and where there is a will, a desire, there is always a way.

Who is with me? Who will join me in envisioning this dream and making it happen?

The time is NOW. For our planet, our environment, our economy, our children.

So, hop on this ride, folks, let’s make it happen!

It’s Time to Get Back to Industrial Hemp, and Embrace the Change That Comes With It


Industrial hemp has had a long, fruitful, and interesting history. It has been used for over 10,000 years as food, medicine, clothing, fuel, and in construction.

It is now classified as a schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act – a move that made it illegal to grow without a permit from the DEA.

It is amazing (or, perhaps a better word would be disturbing) that this wondrous, healthy plant was made illegal so investors in oil, chemicals, pharma, and timber could reap their benefits at the expense of our health and the health of our planet.

The chemical, drug, oil, and timber industries have taken their toll. Our nation is an industrialized nation, which means we consume huge amounts of oil, gas, chemicals, additives in foods, chemical drugs to treat every illness under the sun. We’ve become a nation addicted to ‘fast, quick, easy’. But that system isn’t always healthy.

Our fast foods, canned foods, and prepared foods are laden with chemicals. We have gone from fresh, farm or home-grown to over-processed nutrient-deficient foods.

Our illnesses are treated with chemical drugs, most of which have warnings because they, themselves, are dangerous. Have you looked lately at the side effects of most chemical meds? If you take a close look, you will realize that these are what are making us sicker and even killing us. (Now, I am not saying all meds are bad, and yes, some people do need to be on meds for health or stabilization.) Hemp can (and does) treat many illnesses and disease. If we look at the causes of disease, we will find that many are the cause of emotional or nutritional imbalance. And how can we best treat disease and illness? Nutrition. And what is one of the most nutritional plants around? Yes, you guessed it. Hemp.

We have become dependent on oil. Look at this, though. Oil and fuel processing in itself is unhealthy for the environment (and humans). Oil extraction can be as well. (See: Gulf of Mexico) And the alternative? Hemp fuel! Hemp fuel is safe, clean, and non-toxic. If it spills it acts more like a fertilizer than a health hazard. Henry Ford’s idea to build hemp cars and use hemp fuel (he grew his own hemp) was an excellent option.

Many of the substances we use today are petroleum based or synthetic (chemical based) – plastics, nylon to name a couple. Anything that can be made from fossil fuels/oil can be made from hemp.

William Randolph Hearst (yes, the newspaper guy) had a huge stake in timber and owned a couple sawmills. He was one of the main supporters of banning the use of hemp. Why? It was a threat to his timber investments. Did you know that The Declaration of Independence was made with hemp? Paper products made from timber are very chemical intensive. Writing paper, paper bags, napkins, toilet paper, paper towels, books – all of these have been processed with chlorine and numerous other chemicals. Yes, paper from trees can be recycled; yet the chemicals in them remain. Do you know, even recycled toilet paper has chemical residue from the paper it was recycled from? Hemp paper is stronger, lasts longer, and is processed easily and with less toxic chemicals.

Hemp does not need pesticides or herbicides. It does that naturally. Hemp uses less water than cotton.  (Did you know, cotton growth/manufacturing uses HUGE amounts of water and chemicals – cotton is one of the most chemical intensive crops.) Hemp heals the soil and cleans the air. It is healthy – for body, environment, and economy.

Now, this is where the change must occur. Yes, in the 1930s there was change – our country went from being one that embraced hemp and all it’s greatness to one that shunned it in favor of unhealthy alternatives, thanks to lobbyists for the big oil, chemical, pharma, and timber investors.

It is time to change once again, BACK to the plant that will help our planet, our health, and our economy. There will be people kicking and screaming. There were (and are) those who will fight hard and dirty to keep hemp illegal. They do not want their investments threatened. However, CHANGE is needed.

The propaganda about hemp needs to be dispelled. Ideas need to change; minds need to embrace the idea that yes, hemp IS a good thing. For some, change is a scary thing.

There have been families, for generations, whose livelihoods have depended on the oil and timber industries. In some areas those were the main industries. These people worked hard to feed their families and send their kids to college, to build their lives. I am not bashing those who worked, sweated, and died working to care for their families, especially those in the timber industry. I’ve been touched first-hand by that. My ex-husband’s brother died working for a logging company. I have other friends who were injured badly or disabled in that industry. I am NOT saying that the timber industry is all evil. We need wood for construction, etc.

What I AM saying, though, is that there are some products that can be replaced with hemp – paper, for example – simply because hemp is the better, cleaner, healthier alternative. We DO need to reduce the amount of trees that we use. They take 20-40 years to grow. Hemp, however, takes months and can produce much more per acre than trees.

Yes, change can be scary. Going back to hemp is a good change – healthier earth, healthier bodies, healthier air, healthier environment. But, in order to evolve, to GROW, we must EMBRACE that change…

One hempseed at a time.

Hemp ~ Our Planet’s EcoSolution


Hemp is more than just a plant ~ it is a gift from nature that can be manufactured into nearly 50,000 items.

We are at a time when we are becoming more conscious of what we eat, wear, use, and HOW we use it, in addition to the impact these items have on our environment and planet.

HEMP AS FOOD AND MEDICINE

Hemp is proven to be one of the natural ways to keep optimum health. It is used as food (hemp seed, hemp seed oil) and medicine. Because hemp is so nutrient-rich, it can, in some cases, eliminate the need for vitamin supplements (in addition to a proper diet). It has the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids needed by the body. Hemp is also an anti-inflammatory, repairs cells, heals/treats/eliminates disease, and is a perfect energy food.

HEMP AS FUEL

Hemp hurds can be up to 85% cellulose. Ethanol is processed from cellulose, making it the perfect clean fuel. Automobile engines that run on fossil fuels are one of the main sources of greenhouse gases; moving to hemp fuel will allow for cleaner air and less pollution. Gasoline engines produce a carbon residue, engines that run on hemp fuel do not release carbon emissions like gasoline.

HEMP AS PAPER AND PLASTIC

Again, this is where the high cellulose content comes into play. Cellulose is one of the most common organic compounds on the earth. Cellulose is used in paper production (cardstock, cardboard), textile production and even is a component in rayon. Trees are 30-40% cellulose, and in order to make paper products many chemicals and other components must be used. Not so with hemp. Fossil fuel-based plastics can also be replaced with hemp. Hemp plastics are cleaner, stronger, and lighter; hemp plastic components are now being used in vehicle production. Hemp paper and plastic products are biodegradable and will not harm the environment; in fact, if left to decompose they would act more like fertilizer.

HEMP FOR BUILDING

Hemp is an excellent choice for building. It is strong, clean, antibacterial, mold-, rot-, insect-, and pest-repellent. Hemcrete used for foundations is stronger and more flexible than ordinary concrete. Hemp insulation has a high R-value and cleans the air. There are now hemp roof tiles, hemp oil based paints, hemp carpets, curtains, upholstery. Hemp fiberboard is stronger than ordinary fiberboard.

HEMP CLOTHING

Clothing made from hemp lasts longer than clothing processed from cotton. It has excellent thermal properties, is UV resistant, and stays strong after many washings. Cotton is very chemical and water intensive in growth and processing; hemp is not. The first Levi jeans were made from hemp, mainly for the gold-rushers in Nevada.

HEMP FOR BODY CARE

Hemp oil based products are excellent for hair and skin. The nutrients help the hair stay shiny and strong; the oils are perfect for skin, in all seasons. The oil and nutrients do not sit on the skin, they go INTO the skin for optimum results. Hemp is excellent for moisturizing, for eczema and psoriasis, rashes, neurodermitis, and can also help slow the aging process.

Hemp does not need massive amounts of chemicals to grow, it does not need pesticides or fertilizers. It cleans the air as it grows and also helps nourish the soil. It is a clean solution for almost all the products that we now use.

Hemp is THE EcoSolution.

Hemp Building Materials ~ Part 2


Recently I posted an article about hemp making a comeback as a building material (January 1 2012 post). Today I want to go into a little more detail about hemp building materials and their properties pertaining to their low toxicity and strength.

Let’s start with the foundation. Hemcrete is an excellent component for the foundation of a home. Hemp hurds are mixed with lime, cement, plaster, and water. A chemical reaction between the lime and the hemp hardens the mixture. As time goes on the compound continues to harden. (Archeologists found a bridge in France from the Merovingian period, 500-750 AD, that used this same process, and it is still standing today.) Hemcrete is half as light as traditional concrete foundations, yet 7 times stronger; it is also flexible, which is excellent for earthquake-prone areas.

Hemcrete walls have the same properties as hemcrete foundations and are 3 times more flexible as wood walls. Hemcrete is an excellent insulator as far as temperature is concerned and a sound insulator as well. Hemcrete is insect-, rot-, mold-resistant and does not release deadly toxins into the air; in fact, hemcrete walls will help CLEAN the air inside the home. It is also waterproof and fireproof.

“If hemp were legal in the United States, it would be the cheapest source of raw material for concrete-like foundations. Plus hemp hurds can be processed in existing wood mills without major changes to the equipment. Hemp-foundation homes are ecologically appropriate because they are inexpensive, and can be prepared on site using only a cement mixer, and the material would be cheap and abundant.” (Hemphasis.net)

Washington State University, in Pullman, Washington, developed a hemp fiberboard (similar to plywood). It is 3 times more flexible and twice as strong as traditional wood fiberboard. It has excellent weather and sound proof capabilities, is non-toxic, and is moisture-, mold- and pest-resistant.

Pipes can be made out of hemp fiber (hemp concrete pipes). They are more flexible than plastic pipes and are less prone to cracking.

Hemp insulation comes in many varieties. It has excellent R- value and thermal properties and works just as well as fiberglass insulation and other types of chemical based insulations, without the toxicity. Hemp insulation can be either hemcrete or rolled/mat style insulation, and again, is mold, insect, and rodent repellent.

Hemp homes are carbon neutral, and in some cases carbon negative. With more people being concerned about the carbon footprint they leave behind, hemp IS the perfect choice, for the health of the home inhabitants AND for the environment.

Hemp ~ A Perfect Ingredient For Cars And Construction


BBC – Countryfile, Episode 987 – November 2, 2008

This wonderful clip shows how hemp is used in automobiles (the Lotus) and in construction. How fantastic it would be to farm and manufacture products from this versatile crop ~ HEMP ~ here in the United States!